Two weeks ago, when our friend Paige was visiting, I bought a sugar pumpkin. I thought I’d cook it up somehow. I didn’t have anything particular in mind, but I thought a fresh pumpkin something would be nice…

We all ate nonstop for two days, and I never cooked the pumpkin. It’s been sitting on the kitchen counter ever since. A nice fall decoration for sure, but this is an eating pumpkin, not a carving pumpkin or decoration.

Today, with our glorious 70 degree weather, I decided to make soup!

I sliced and seeded the pumpkin and set in in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, I cut up:

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 sweet potato and
  • 2 pears

and placed them all in a pot with a bit of olive oil. I cooked everything until it was all mushy and gooey and starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. I added some cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, a pinch of cardamom, and a pinch of sage, salt & pepper and then added 2 quarts of chicken stock. (I’m not a vegetarian. Substitute veg broth, if desired…)

I cooked the vegetables a bit more, and then added the pumpkin and let it all simmer about 30 minutes.

While the soup was simmering, I cooked a large handful of barley in another pot.

I used my immersion blender and pureed the whole pot of soup to a rich, creamy consistency. Then, I added about 2 cups of heavy cream and blended it some more. I did a taste-test and added a bit more of all the spices. I then stirred in the barley, and added a handful of dried cranberries!

It was really good!